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(Content Delivery Network) A distribution system on the Internet that accelerates the delivery of Web pages, audio, video and other Internet-based content to users around the world. The CDN replicates the content provider's files in servers, called "caching servers" or "edge servers," located in geographically dispersed datacenters. Most CDNs are third-party services; however, large companies may develop their own "enterprise CDN" (eCDN) to support remote locations more effectively.

When content is replicated throughout the country or the world, it is delivered to users with greater speed and reliability. The CDN network routes the user's request for content to the appropriate caching server based on the user's location. CDNs are often connected to multiple ISP backbones and have peering relationships with others, providing high availability to users.

Types of Services

Web Acceleration
Every CDN accelerates content delivery by nature of its multiple backbones (in most cases) and numerous caching servers. A CDN may also augment acceleration via compression between nodes in its own network. Quite often, only the graphics on a Web page are delivered by the CDN, while the HTML text is sent out from the customer's servers.

Streaming and Downloading
Video uses extensive network bandwidth, and many customers of a CDN use the service solely to stream video to users. A CDN may offer several streaming methods including Flash, Windows Media, Silverlight and progressive download, the latter using the same HTTP protocol as Web pages (see progressive download). Large downloads such as gaming software are also candidates for CDNs. The CDN may pull the data from the customer's origin server, or the customer may upload the files to the CDN.

Server-Side Processing
The CDN may offer server-side processing (Java, ASP, etc.). If the CDN does not do the processing, that operation takes place in the customer's servers, and the CDN can deliver the accompanying graphics or other downloads.

Hybrid CDN (Peer-to-Peer)
A CDN may support peer-to-peer processing, which requires client software to be installed in the user's computer or pre-installed in a set-top box.

The Vendors
As of 2018, Akamai, Google, Swarmify, Microsoft, Rackspace, Amazon and Limelight are among the largest CDN providers. See content peering.

Akamai's Control Center
Moving massive amounts of content every day, Akamai has a handle on the current state of the Internet. In mid-2008, Akamai's rotating world display (bottom) showed it was transmitting more than a trillion bits of data per second. See Akamai.

Akamai's Control Center
Moving massive amounts of content every day, Akamai has a handle on the current state of the Internet. In mid-2008, Akamai's rotating world display (bottom) showed it was transmitting more than a trillion bits of data per second. See Akamai.
References in periodicals archive ?
Also, Verizon Digital Media Services will integrate EdgeCast complementary capabilities to further improve and increase its ability to meet the exponential growth in online digital media content, as well as broaden its portfolio of site acceleration services for digital enterprises.
Cotendo already has proven itself as a leader in providing acceleration services that go beyond simple edge caching to provide highly dynamic, highly interactive mobile and web app services.
8M per optimized application for enterprises using Akamai Web Application Acceleration Services in the first year.
NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and applications online, today introduced the industry's first and only PCI-compliant site acceleration service.
We are very encouraged by customer acceptance of our application acceleration services, and believe the alignment of Akamai and Netli will provide enterprises with even better solutions going forward in this important and emerging market," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO of Akamai.
Unlike competing acceleration services that tunnel SSL from a sub-set of secure nodes, the Netli Accelerated SSL Delivery service is seamlessly integrated into Netli's global network, ensuring every NetLightning and NetliOffload customer gains the full benefit of performance and scale, with full security and control.
Wind River's Workbench Acceleration Services Suite delivers a flexible, comprehensive solution that addresses many common challenges with implementing an integrated development environment.
Akamai has been achieving market successes as the leader in the 'tornado' market of digital content distribution and application acceleration services.
Microchip began using Netli's application acceleration services in 2005, incrementally adding new applications and services over the last 18 months.
As we have been providing acceleration services to women-led technology driven companies in Silicon Valley since 1999, we have developed extensive networks that are critical in identifying the next up-and-coming leaders.
2 software offers a number of new capabilities that reduce the time and costs required to roll out application acceleration services, automate critical provisioning functions and optimize network resources via new reporting and planning tools.

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